The importance of a certain website or page within that website is seen by Google’s PageRank. This monitors the inbound links from other domains and determines whether they are to be trusted. If they are to be trusted then you will be rewarded with a stronger PageRank but if they’re not then that’s when the trouble can start. If you find links that may be having a negative effect then it’s best to ask for them to be removed but you may not be able to get all of them, which is where the Disavow Tool comes in.
Use with caution
It is very important that you use caution when submitting domains to the disavow tool, as it can easily harm your website if you haven’t made the correct judgments. But what could go wrong? We hear you ask. Well, the most important thing that could go wrong is that you disavow a ‘healthy’ domain. This is unfortunately very easy to do if you haven’t got experience in judging whether a domain is powerful or not, so please leave it to an SEO professional to make these decisions unless you are comfortable with the responsibility and know enough to make a sound judgment.
Removing bad links
As a website owner it is up to you to look after your website but we understand how difficult this can be if you are employing or outsourcing to professionals to look after your link profile. Unfortunately ignorance is not an excuse, so although the bad work may have been done by a third party on your behalf, you will still need to know what’s going in and coming out of your website. If you find some ‘bad’ links in your profile that need to be removed then get on it straight away and start making contact with the domains in question. Try their contact page/form/email/telephone number first of all but if you can’t find any contact info then try and locate their social profiles if they have any. If you find them on social platforms, send them messages to let them know that you want a link removed. If they don’t have any social presence then take to the search engines to try and find contact info for the company name. Try anything you can think of to get in touch but unfortunately there are always the odd few that you may not be able to contact at all, mainly because the chances are that they are automated spam sites. If you can show evidence that you have already removed numerous ‘bad’ links then you will stand a better chance of getting a link disavowed. If you haven’t even been trying then chances are Google won’t let you disavow any links until you have shown effort yourself.
When good links go bad
Occasionally one of the domains linking to your website will get penalized for one thing or another, which may cause it to lose value and power. If there is little or no value left in the site then it’s worth removing that link just in case an association with your site is made and it gets targeted next. Of course it’s very difficult to judge when to take out a link and when to leave it in because even a penalized website can fully recover meaning that there may not be a need for you to remove that link.
Thankfully Negative SEO is quite rare and hopefully it will either stay that way or disappear altogether, as this can be very damaging to your business & reputation. This immoral practice is when poor links are built for the sole purpose of harming your website & it’s brand. It can be done by anyone and this is another job for the disavow tool if you fall victim to it.